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Bipolar disorder

(11 Posts)
Thatgirlcat Sun 20-Sep-20 09:52:02

Hi everyone

I think I may have bipolar disorder. I've felt like something has been different in my life since mid teens, but I've only really noticed like a year ago. At first I thought it was depression, but I came across bipolar and honestly I've never read something that sounds more like me in my life. Anyway, I have been to the docs 3 times now and everytime they say it's just depression and they never seem to care about what I have to say. I have told them that sometimes when I'm really down I think about suicide, but I've only ever been put on anti depressants, which have done nothing.

I want a phychiatric review, as they are the ones that know more and can diagnose, but I feel like the gp will say it's depression and I'm back a square one. Has anyone else had this problem? I've heard people with bpd get a wrong diagnosis all the time.

I'm really struggling, it's like I'm 2 different people- one who is so confident and can go all night and not be tired, go on spending sprees and put myself at risk. And then the manic depressive, who wants to kill themselves the next. I have 2 very young children and I hate myself for putting them through this.

OP’s posts: |
Superscientist Sun 20-Sep-20 17:04:34

It can be tricky to get a bipolar diagnosis, the average is 10 years after first getting symptoms. This is mostly due to patients only seeking medical advice during low episodes and also because bipolar mood swing are relatively slow.
It took me about 3 years to go from a probable bipolar diagnosis to a bipolar diagnosis as there are several conditions with overlapping symptoms. It was only when they were able to see how my mood cycles and what triggers it that they were confident that it was bipolar.

The best thing you can do is to keep a diary of your mood, what symptoms you are experiencing and what was going on at the time /any triggers for the mood. The other thing to do would be to seek help when you think you might be in a manic or hypomania episode.

Just one thing from your post, I might have read it wrong and sorry if I have it is just this is a common misconception. The old name for bipolar "manic depression" refers to two mood states - manic an elevated mood state where you are the life and soul of the party, don't sleep and doing every at 100 mph and depressive a low mood state much the same as regular depression. Some people think manic depression meant "really bad depression". Again sorry if I have misread it I just wanted to clarify the term just in case.

Thatgirlcat Sun 20-Sep-20 17:33:13

Hi

I was just explaining for me personally how I feel and act at different times, hence why I think it might be bipolar.

I can't believe it takes that long to get diagnosed, I've told my husband and some family members how I feel, but I feel like they all think it's some big joke or something.

OP’s posts: |
Superscientist Mon 21-Sep-20 08:42:12

The key to getting a diagnosis is understanding the mania/hypomania symptoms. In the trust I was in at the time of diagnosis required a episode of high mood to have occurred in the absence of drugs or antidepressants (as these commonly cause high moods in those susceptible to bipolar). It takes a while to see the pattern of moods too as it is typical that you only have a few episodes a year (rapid cycling is 4 episodes in 12 months).

What symptoms of mania/hypomania did you give to your gp?
Hypomania can be tricky for family me members to understand as it can look like a good mood but it can escalate in to something more unpleasant.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Mon 21-Sep-20 08:44:34

Can you pay to see a psychiatrist?

Thatgirlcat Mon 21-Sep-20 09:11:32

@Superscientist when I was experiencing mania I was going out most days of the week drinking excessively until about 3 or 4 in the morning then going home and getting ready for work at 6am and feeling absolutely fine with hardly to no sleep at all. I would go on spending sprees as soon as I got paid, or buying things for my friends and then having no money left at the end. I would also do risky things like meet up with guys that I hardly knew. I would also find myself obsessing over my career and staying up in the night researching things. I honestly felt amazing and thought this was just who I was as a person, until all the depression comes along.

I was looking into paying for a psychiatrist myself, it's an option if all else fails I guess.

OP’s posts: |
TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Mon 21-Sep-20 12:39:58

I paid. He was lovely if you need a recommendation.

I don’t get bipolar, but had so many bad reactions to antidepressants that lm beginning to wonder if l am. It’s meant to be one of the symptoms..

Superscientist Mon 21-Sep-20 22:53:47

That' sounds like hypomania and it can be difficult to get people GPs included to recognise it. It might be worth taking a copy of hypomanic symptoms to your next gp appt with a list of which symptoms you think fit you.

Decreased need for sleep, increase in risk taking behaviours and fixation on new ideas would be the things I would try to highlight from your description. I would also bring up how long these episodes last for and how frequently they occur.

Except in the cases of extreme mania diagnosis comes when you are able to give a doctor enough jigsaw pieces to see what the full picture.

If you do get to see a psychiatrist through the NHS or privately it might be worth going with a list of all significant episodes of high and low mood & what was going on at the time.

Leafypage Tue 22-Sep-20 11:57:51

It’s really difficult to get attention in this situation. I think I am on the bipolar spectrum, it started in my teens and went crazy in my early to mid twenties where I was hospitalised and offered sedation countless times. Try and manage your symptoms with mood diaries and vigorous l, regular exercise, good sleep patterns and a good diet (no junk food). I stay away from alcohol and drugs - the after effects bring on psychosis. Diagnosis is a long process but keep your mind open, it may not be bipolar too - it could be something else. At the same time if you think it really is bipolar keep going and keep asking for help. Take care and look after yourself.

Kitfish Thu 24-Sep-20 20:33:34

Hi

I was diagnosed with bipolar 10 years ago. What you are describing does sound like it. The one piece of advice I would give is avoid using the NHS if you can possibly avoid it. Getting the right medication is a complicated process with lots of trial and error - a GP just isn’t aware of all the medications and will probably just prescribe lithium - a mallet of a drug. There are far better medications but you will need to speak to a psychiatrist if you want to get medication that can allow you to live a normal life. I’m symptom free and holding down a relatively stressful job. Paying for the psychiatrist was the best money I’ve spent. Best of luck to you.

Muddledupme Sat 26-Sep-20 10:40:42

I think part of the problem with getting bipolar diagnosed is that when your depressed it's obvious to go to the doctor to get medication to make you feel better where as when your manic your so busy being manic that it wouldn't occur to you to make an appointment.if you did you would have to say "I've come here because I feel amazing and don't want anything that might stop it"

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